By Dr. Adnan Zuberi
Karachi Phantasmagoria by Sir V S Naipaul a Nobel Laureate in Literature 2001. A chapter regarding Karachi from his book, Among the Believers:An Islamic Journey.
It was 1986/87 and I was the student of Dow Medical College.One of my friend introduced me to this writer- Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul,and recommend his recently published book: Among the Believers, An Islamic Journey.
He visit karachi twice first in 1962 by ship from Alexandria and next in 1979/80 when he was writing this book.
Following are his few excerpts from the above mentioned book.
” Before 1947 there was no Pakistan here, there was the only Indian province of Sindh and the British built city of Karachi. The past survived in buildings, and in names the Club road, Bleak House Road, Clifton, Jutland Lines, Abyssina Lines, Jacob Lines, McNeil Road, Clayton Quarters, Napier Barracks, Soldier Bazaar.”
” And one afternoon, walking from the Intercontinental down the two miles road that led, through land reclaimed from mangrove swamp to the Chinna creek and Napier Mole Bridge, I was surprised at the edge of the creek, beside the bridge and amid the works for the new dock, to see a memorial plaque with Hindu names on a wall.”
V S Naipaul born in 1932 in Trinidad, West Indies, in an Indian family. His grand parents came from india to work as labourers in sugarcane plantations. In early 50s he won the scholarship and got the admission in Oxford. In 1996 he met Nadira Alvi, a Pakistani Journalist 20 years younger to Sir Naipaul, at the residence of US counsel general. After the death of his wife, in 1996 he married to Nadira Alvi. Sir V S Naipaul died on 11 August 2018 in London.
Awards: 1971 Booker Prize, 1990 Knighthood, 2001 Nobel for literature
In 2006 I had a chance to see Mr Naipaul’s glimps in British Library, London.
Photos. Sir V S Naipaul and Lady Nadira Naipaul